There is a football game tonight that may not mean much to folks outside the Golden Isles, but for many people locally, it is one of the first dates circled on their fall calendars.

Since Brunswick High School played its first season in 1968, the Pirates and crosstown rivals, the Glynn Academy Red Terrors, which already had more than 50 years of competition under their belts in 1968, have been one of the better high school rivalries in the state.

Making it even better is the record the two teams have amassed in the annual rivalry. Brunswick holds a 37-34-2 advantage over Glynn Academy, but the Terrors have won the previous three meetings. Making this game even more interesting is that it will be a battle for first place in Region 2-6A and seeding in the state playoffs.

On the field, this game matters to each team’s season and to the players, all of whom want a win.

But this game, like so many rivalry games, has a deeper meaning for the community. It is about more than just bragging rights and the claim to the City Championship. It is the one time every season the 12,000 seat Glynn County Stadium can almost be guaranteed to fill to capacity, showing how closely local folks hold their ties to their respective alma mater and their hometown.

Tonight is an opportunity for Glynn County to be proud of its young athletes. Football and other high school sports provide a chance for students to learn dedication, hard work and the importance of perseverance. Athletics teach youngsters what it means to work for a greater purpose, something bigger than themselves and something that very clearly means a lot to a lot of people.

There are statistics to show that students who compete in high school sports graduate at a high rate and often do better in school than those who do not.

We always encourage students to participate in sports, or any extracurricular activity for that matter, to make themselves more well rounded and better prepared for the rigors of adulthood.

Don’t forget about the marching bands either. They put in about as much time and effort to perfect their shows and are endlessly impressive in their ability to master complicated instruments and compositions.

So while the City Championship may seem like just a game, it is actually a chance to see some of Glynn County’s youngest and brightest stars show what their hard work has accomplished.

We hope you will turn out tonight in your best blue and gold or red and white and fill Glynn County Stadium to show those youngsters how much they mean to our community.